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Posts from — March 2010

Homebuyer Tax Credit Countdown

The clock is ticking on the $8,000 first-time home buyer and $6,500 homeowner tax credits. Buyers must have a binding written contract in place by April 30 and must close on a Smith Mountain Lake or surrounding area property by June 30.

To claim the tax credit on their 2009 return, home buyers must fill out IRS form 5405 to determine the amount of their available credit; apply the credit when they file their 2009 tax return or file an amended return, and attach the documentation to the return or amended return.

Contact Prudential Waterfront Properties, Smith Mountain Lake’s premier real estate company, and talk to a Realtor about common questions buyers tend to ask about the tax credit, and whether they’ve seen an increase in buyer activity as the deadline approaches. Call (800) 858-4653 or visit

March 30, 2010   No Comments

Smith Mountain Lake License Plate Frames

Now your friends and family can purchase a Smith Mountain Lake license plate Frames for only $2.99.

For more information call the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce  at 540-721-1203.

March 29, 2010   No Comments

Congratulations 2010 Smith Mountain Lake Photo Contest Winners!

Check out these 2010 Smith Mountain Lake Photo Contest Winners capturing the beautiful Smith Mountain Lake. At Smith Mountain Lake, you’ll find wonderful places and people. Our area’s great natural beauty–from the waters and woods to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia–is the perfect destination for your very own style of fun, whether you seek days full of activities or just plain relaxing. Visit photo gallery online.

March 25, 2010   No Comments

"How to Survive a Down Economy" Seminar at Smith Mountain Lake

This seminar will present strategies for surviving the current recession for small businesses. Dick will cover six different areas of their businesses and ways to both increase and cut expenses. Bring your questions for Dick Ephgrave, Director of Small Business Development Center, Longwood University, Tuesday, March 30th from 3 to 5pm at Westlake Library.  Dick has 42 years experience consulting with and owning small businesses.

If you like to register you can email Annette Stamus at

March 24, 2010   No Comments

“How to Survive a Down Economy” Seminar at Smith Mountain Lake

This seminar will present strategies for surviving the current recession for small businesses. Dick will cover six different areas of their businesses and ways to both increase and cut expenses. Bring your questions for Dick Ephgrave, Director of Small Business Development Center, Longwood University, Tuesday, March 30th from 3 to 5pm at Westlake Library.  Dick has 42 years experience consulting with and owning small businesses.

If you like to register you can email Annette Stamus at

March 24, 2010   No Comments

Not all buyers qualify

The Federal Housing Administration has played an important role in the recent housing and economic crisis by filling the gap left by private lenders.

Major reforms in recent years and increased loan limits have greatly increased FHA’s market share. FHA insured almost 30 percent of single-family mortgages in 2009 and more than 50 percent of first-time buyer loans. Historically, FHA insures between 10 and 15 percent of all loans.

Current FHA loan limits are as much as $729,750 in high-cost areas. Those limits are set to expire by year’s end and revert to lower amounts. If the current loan limits are not made permanent, NAR estimates that a decrease would negatively affect 612 counties in 40 states and the District of Columbia. To find out what FHA loan limits are in your area, visit

Recent changes to the FHA program include increasing down payment amounts for certain buyers. Talk to a Prudential Waterfront Properties Realtor at Smith Mountain Lake to learn how these changes will affect both buyers and sellers, and to get a sense of how many home buyers and sellers in your area might be affected.

March 23, 2010   No Comments

Make Safety an Open House Priority.

An open house can be a great marketing tool, but it also means exposing your home and family to countless strangers. Don’t assume that every person who visits your home is an earnest, potential homebuyer. It’s important to take security seriously. Here are some common security measures that can pull double-duty, keeping you and your family safe while enhancing your home’s marketability:

  • Remove personal items such as family photographs, your children’s artwork, calendars that include daily routines and other items that may reveal the names of your family members or everyday life. Removing or packing away these items will not only enhance your privacy, it will also help keep the potential homebuyer focused on your home and not your family. A house that’s been depersonalized shows better because it’s easier for the buyer to visualize living in the house.
  • Identity theft is a growing problem, so be sure to remove or lock up all credit cards, bills, health insurance information and anything else that contains personal information like social security numbers and bank account numbers. Of course, this step removes clutter from your counters, maintaining visual appeal.
  • Remove or lock up jewelry, cash and other valuables; firearms and other weapons; and all prescription medication.
  • Make sure the house is well-lit and keep all interior and exterior walkways clear of clutter and other debris.
  • After each showing, take a thorough walk-through of your house and make sure all of the doors and windows are shut and locked, and that no items or valuables are missing.

In addition to safeguarding your property and identity, there are precautions you should take to protect yourself if you are present during an open house. Ideally, your real estate professional will be representing you during the open house, so that potential home buyers feel comfortable snooping around, opening cupboards and speaking freely about the home. However, if you do find that you are in the home alone, or are selling your home on your own, consider a few tips from the pros:

  • Never turn your back on a potential buyer. Instead, let the buyer lead you through the house. This allows you to watch the buyer and avoid becoming cornered or trapped.  
  • Employ the buddy system. If you must show the house yourself, enlist the help of family or friends. This rule is especially important if the home is located in an isolated area.
  • Have a visitor roster and make sure everyone who tours your home signs it and includes their phone number and address. This will help you keep track of who is viewing your home.
  • Know and have a plan for the fastest escape route for each part of your home.

The open house process is just one step toward selling your home. A Prudential Waterfront Properties real estate professional can provide you with a fresh set of eyes and will tour your home and point out safety measures you may have overlooked as well as answer other questions you may have about selling your home.

March 22, 2010   No Comments

Happy First day of Spring!

Happy First day of Spring! Saturday, March 20, 2010 at approximately 12:00 midnight is the official first day of spring for 2010 in the Northern Hemisphere (Vernal Equinox).

This is the perfect time to visit beautiful to Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. Imagine 22,000 acres of crystal-clear water with 500 miles of shoreline and a backdrop of Virginia’s majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. Smith Mountain Lake has become one of the most beautiful and popular residential and recreational spots on the East Coast. Smith Mountain Lake offers numerous opportunities for boating, fishing, water-skiing, golf and tennis, swimming, or horseback riding. As you live and play, enjoy the spectacular Smith Mountain Lake scenery at every turn.

You can visit the Prudential Waterfront Properties website which provides information ranging from Smith Mountain Lake golf courses to vacation rentals to country clubs and much more. Search the property database to find Smith Mountain Lake townhomes, condominiums, single-family homes or lots for sale that fit your needs. Whether you’re looking for a Smith Mountain Lake retirement community, recreation spot or vacation home, our expert Smith Mountain Lake realtors can help.

We are happy to send you a FREE Smith Mountain Lake Visitor Guide, Map and DVD. Enjoy the wonderful Spring season!

March 20, 2010   No Comments

Tips for the relocating partner to or from Smith Mountain Lake

Check out these tips for the relocating partner if you are moving to or from Smith Mountain Lake.

A new career opportunity sometimes means that your family will need to relocate to another town. The decision to move is often arrived after careful consideration of various factors including the other partner’s career; the effect on the children’s educational and recreational activities; and financial issues. In addition, it often means leaving behind family and friends.

If you are the “trailing” partner, it may fall to you to get the new home up and running, the kids in schools, and possibly find a new position for yourself. This can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help relieve the stress of relocation and turn your move into a successful endeavor.

Take your time.
As with all moves, there are so many things you need to do before making a house your home. From dealing with utility companies, to unpacking and decorating the home, to finding a new doctor, your to-do list will seem endless and you can easily become overwhelmed. Don’t try to accomplish everything at once. Make a list and divide it into three categories: immediate, secondary and down the road. Set your own timetable.  Remember, you are the boss of this project, so the only person you have to please is yourself.

Get out and meet people.
More than likely, you won’t know many people in your new community. Your partner will have an opportunity to build relationships with coworkers. You, however, will have to find other ways to meet people. Besides introducing yourself to neighbors, find a place of worship, volunteer in a community organization, join a social club, country club,  gym, or just say hello to people. Ask your real estate professional to recommend organizations.

Reevaluate your career goals.
If you had to leave a job behind, check to see if your partner’s company offers any employment assistance for relocating partners. Many companies have formal and informal programs, offering as little as resume support to as much as arranging job interviews.

Your Prudential Waterfront Properties real estate professional can also be a great resource. He or she usually has some insight on the area’s job market and may be able to give you names of career counselors or leads to firms that are hiring.

If you’ve desired making a career change, now is the perfect opportunity to do so. You may even want to consider an entrepreneurial career that you can take anywhere.

And, if you decide to stay at home, consider fulfilling some personal goals such as advancing your education, starting a new hobby, volunteering, or fine tuning your golf or tennis game.

Most importantly, don’t push yourself by setting unrealistic goals. Moving is a process and it will take time for you to get acclimated to your new home and community.  Make this move not only a golden opportunity for your partner, but for yourself as well.

March 19, 2010   No Comments

Happy St. Patrick's Day and Corned Beef Cabbage Recipe

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Prudential Waterfront Properties and Smith Mountain Lake! Sending you rainbows of happy wishes and pots of lucky gold for a great St. Patrick’s Day! Enjoy this Corned Beef Cabbage recipe.


  • 1 (5 ½ pound) corned beef brisket
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice
  • 1 large orange.  sliced in rounds
  • 2 stalks celery.  sliced
  • 1 large onion.  sliced
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 6 tablespoons margarine.  divided
  • 1 large head cabbage.  cored and sliced
  • 1 cup Golden Delicious apples.  cored and quartered with peel
  • ¼ cup cold water


  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).  Line a 9×13 inch roasting pan with aluminum foil, leaving enough extra extending over the sides to cover and seal in the roast.
  2. Rinse the brisket, and pat dry.  Rub with pickling spice, and place in the prepared roasting pan.  Arrange celery, orange, and onion slices on and around the roast.  Pour in ½ cup of water, and wrap aluminum foil up over the roast tightly, making sure the ends are sealed.
  3. Bake for about 4 hours in the preheated oven, or until meat is tender.
  4. About 45 minutes before the roasts time is up, heat 3 tablespoons of margarine and ¼ cup of water in a large pot.  Add cabbage and apples, cover, and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes.  Occasionally shake the pot so that nothing sticks to the bottom.  Serve with remaining margarine and sliced corned beef.

March 17, 2010   No Comments